SWEDESBORO — At their meeting on Dec. 16, the Swedesboro Council discussed three recent burglaries in the area with Woolwich Township Police Lt. Joseph Morgan. Chief Russell Marino addressed two Swedesboro burglaries in a letter to Mayor Tom Fromm.
Swedesboro homes had been burglarized on Helms and Broad Street, and the other incident took place in Woolwich Township. Marino wrote, “The residence on Helms Avenue had a window pried open, and the master bedroom was targeted. The home on Broad Street had a basement window removed, and their focus was on the master bedrooms. In both burglaries, it seemed that the primary target was jewelry.”
Marino noted that extra patrols have been added in the area. Morgan mentioned that the police have an idea who committed the crimes. “We have some evidence, and it is currently being processed,” he said.
Councilmember Sam Casella assured that Swedesboro residents were being made aware of the situation. Marino advised residents to lock their doors and windows and secure jewelry, and to report suspicious activity to police.
He reminded people that crime increases during the holidays, and officers will be more vigilant.
In light of the death of 11-year old Russell Leone from an ATV accident with a dump truck in early December, Casella took time to praise the work of the police department and the fire company. “The first responders know what they’re getting into, but they still deserve recognition,” he observed.
Later, Council discussed the borough’s upcoming new skating rink. The Public Works Department will be installing a 64-foot by 172-foot rink at the Swedesboro Auction site. Fromm mentioned that the insurance company wants particular signage at the rink.
The mayor said, “I would like to see a sign that says in so many words, ‘This is your ice skating rink. Respect it.’”
Councilmember Diane Hale is organizing a local committee for more input about the project, calling it “something great for the kids.” Councilmember Joanna Gahrs added, “The bottom line is that it will be safe for everybody.”
Hale indicated that public skating hours were likely to be from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, with hours to be made available for hockey.
In resolutions, Council approved cancelling appropriations within the utility fund’s 2013 budget. “There is money left in the Utility Fund budget,” Municipal Clerk Tanya Goodwin explained. “By cancelling this now, the money goes back into the surplus.’
“I’d rather put it back in the surplus so we don’t buy something we don’t need,” Fromm added. The mayor had earlier noted that Swedesboro’s finances were on the right track.
Council also approved a resolution allowing Fromm to sign with Federici and Akin as consulting engineers for the design and inspection of proposed crosswalks. Another resolution that was passed allows Fromm to sign a contract for the 2014 Pet Census. Goodwin reassured Council that Swedesboro is using the same company that ran the last census, and there will be no rate increase.
In Economic Development, Hale pointed out that the library had been awarded grant money from the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Hale was uncertain of the amount of the grant, but she added that the community is being given $2,550 by the Commission to continue the Auction history.
And Fromm announced that he had been elected as President of the Gloucester County Mayor’s Association for 2014. “Somebody asked, so I said I’d do it,” related Fromm. “It’s nice for Swedesboro to have someone in that position.”